Islamic studies


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arieff Salleh Rosman

In a Muslim context, Islamic studies is the umbrella term for the “Islamic sciences” (Ulum al-din), i.e. the traditional forms of religious knowledge and thought. These include kalam (Islamic theology) and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), hadith (traditions), naskh (abrogations), etc. There are `Ulum ul-Qur’an, (the sciences of the Quran), which include “how, where and when the Quran was revealed”, and its transformation from an oral tradition to the written form, etc. and Ilm ul-Tajwid (proper recitation), Ilm ul-Tafsir (exegesis of the Quran). (In this context “science” is the translation of the Arabic term for “knowledge, learning, lore,” etc., rather than science as commonly defined in English and other languages — i.e. the use of observation, testable explanations to build and organize knowledge and predictions about the natural world/universe and is not to be confused with the scientific work of Muslims such as Avicenna or Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. In addition to the traditional Islamic sciences, Islamic Studies in the modern Muslim world incorporates more recent fields generally considered secular in the West, such as Islamic science and Islamic economics.